In this project we’re building a portable Raspberry Pi using the model A+, PiTFT 3.5” display, Powerboost 500C and a 2500mAh lithium polymer battery.
We designed this very simple case in CAD – It’s a two part enclosure that’s fasten together with screws. All the components are panel mounted and fit nicely in a small little enclosure.
This is a great starting point to build on top of, because you can modify the parts to fit your project and reuse any components – It’s a very modular design and it’s open source so you can make it yours.
If you’re new to the Raspberry Pi, we recommend walking through the following guides.
We have all the components to build this project in the side bar and list below.
Tools & Supplies
We’ll need a few hand tools, and few supplies and access to a 3D printer.
Follow the circuit diagram to reference how the components will be connected together. The size of the components and length of wires are not exact – This diagram is meant to be used as a point of reference.
Slide switch is wired to the Bat, EN and GND pins on the Powerboost 500C.
The positive pin from the powerboost is wired to GPIO #2 on the 3.5″ PiTFT display. Negative pin is wired to GPIO #6.
The male JST from the 2500mAh battery is connected to the JST connector on the Powerboost500C.
The 3.5″ PiTFT display connects to the GPIO header on the Raspberry Pi Model A+.
The PiTFT requires kernel support and a couple other things to make it a nice stand-alone display. We have a detailed step-by-step setup for hackers who want to tweak, customize or understand the PiTFT setup. If you just want to get going, check out the following for easy-install instructions!
Ready to go Image
If you want to start with a fresh image, we have one for Raspbian – click here to download it and install into a new SD card. Unzip and follow the classic SD card burning tutorials
This image is customized for the RESISTIVE touch 3.5″ TFT, also known as PID #2097! Not for PID #1601 or 1983
For further information on calibration and installation, please visit the Adafruit 3.5″ PiTFT guide.
Ready to print
The STL files were optimized to print with no support material on most FDM desktop 3D printers. The parts are oriented in the center of the build area.
Open to modify
The 123X and STEP source files are available to download and modify. Parts include original solids that have not been merged. Union boolean parts are also available.
Design include models of components with stand-offs and mounting holes that can be used for reference on other projects.
- Pi A+
- 3.5″ PiTFT
- Powerboost 500C
- 2500mAh battery
- Slide switch holder
115.5mm x, 72.5mm y, 31.5mm z. The parts will fit on all of the open source 3D printers in the Adafruit shop.
We recommend using PLA filament for minimal warping and best quality. We encourage the experimentation of other filaments like copperFill and SemiFlex for special applications.
CURA Slicer Profiles
Our slicer settings for CURA are available to download and import. You can use these profiles as a starting point to dail in your machine.
Prep slide switch
Let’s start by measuring three pieces of 26AWG silicone cover stranded-core wire to approximetly 11cm in length. We’ll also need three pieces of heat shrink tubing.
Prep wires for slide switch
Strip off the ends of each wire using wire strippers. Secure the wire to a helping third hand. Tin the ends of each wire with solder – this will join the strands together.
lide switch wires
Each wire should have ends stripped and tinned with solder. The colors are nice and help tell connections apart but it’s not required – use what ever you have.
Mount the slide switch to the Panavise Jr.
Place the slide switch into the Panavise Jr. with the terminals facing outward.
Solder wires to slide switch
Secure a wire to the helping third hand and position it close to the terminals on the slide switch. Solder the end of wire to terminal. Repeat this for the other two wires and terminals. Ideally you want the red and white wires on the outside – green in the middle.
For more detail: Touch Pi: Portable Raspberry Pi